Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Last Tern!

We went out to Cockenoe Island to remove the tern fencing before Earl potentially does that for us.
Although there were still several hundred Common Terns along the shoreline, with almost all being this years juveniles, there was no activity in the nesting area, and we felt all the chicks must have fledged by now.

As we were untying the knotted roping and removing the stakes, I noticed something very small and gray,  hiding in the vegetation.
 Wow! There is still one last chick on the island, that had not fledged, but something else was wrong, there were no adults defending this chick, none of the others birds seemed to care in the least that we were on the island, as they would normally be very upset, and dive bombing us, did something happen to it's parents?
I went back to the boat and grabbed my camera, took a few shots of this little darling, when all hell broke loose, seems the parents were out feeding, and upon their arrival back to the island, were not at all happy with us being there.

We cleaned up the rest of the gear, loaded it onto the boat.
This is the last photo, of the last Common Tern chick on the island.
They have been incredible to follow for the past several months, four hundred or so birds fledged on this tiny sand spit. I will miss them, and hope they return next spring.


  1. Thanks Larry for your efforts, photos, and commentary on this colony. Following their successes and failures was fascinating to read all summer. I hope that colony continues to thrive in future summers.